How do actors relate to each other and their natural environment in terms of threats and vulnerabilities? When and how is violence organized? How can possible conflicts be prevented or solved?
International Security, a track of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.
Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence, i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as environmental security (about climate change or industrial hazards), societal security (about group identities) and economic security (about welfare and development). These different types of concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.
Programme 1 year
The Master's degree programme International Relations is 60 ECTS. The basic element is the module Advanced Theory of International Relations. This module must be followed by all students. You choose two research seminars (at least one of which in International Security) and a Capita International Security, all in your first semester. During your second semester, you will write a Master thesis (in the field of International Security) and you will do an internship.
Master's placement (specialization)
A placement is a recognised component of this Master's track.
You can propose yourself at what organisation you would like to do a placement and where necessary the programme can advise you. Click the link above to find examples of placements completed by other Master's students.
Master's Honours Programme (honours program)
The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.
It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.
Because the programme starts in September as well as in February, all courses are offered both in the first and in the second semester.
Examples of Research Seminars International Security are: 'Governance and Security in the Arctic', 'The Netherlands and the EU: Politics, Economics and Security', and 'Power Configurations in World Politics'. The topics of the research seminars differ every year, so these are merely examples.
It is optional to do a master internship abroad.
|Specific requirements||More information|
|language test||The English language proficiency requirement will be met by passing an examination in English at the level of the Dutch VWO final exam (mark 6 or higher), or by passing the internet-based TOEFL test with a score of at least 90 (with a minimum of 21 for all items), IELTS Academic Module with a minimum score of 6.5 (with a minimum score of 6.0 for all items) or a certificate from the University of Groningen Language Centre, at least B2, CEFR.|
|previous education||Students with either a university Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences (including - but not limited to - Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Geography), or an internationally oriented university Bachelor's degree such as International Relations, Regional Studies, European/International Law, or (Modern) History are eligible to apply.
After you complete your application, the IR Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific programme requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies, and the grades you have obtained.
The Admissions Board will then determine whether:
|Type of student||Deadline||Start course|
|EU/EEA students||01 May 2018, 15 October 2018||01 September 2018, 01 February 2019|
|non-EU/EEA students||01 May 2018, 15 October 2018||01 September 2018, 01 February 2019|
The Master's track is broad in scope and gives students a solid foundation in international relations. There is consequently a wide range of employment opportunities for International Relations graduates. The most obvious profession is a policy advisor, but you could also become a researcher, lobbyist, diplomat, or PR officer. You can work in international business, non-profit or government organizations, in the media, and at a university or a private research institute.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated February 20, 2018